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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Art Night 3: Moose & Men, Ink & Foil

Monday was Art Night. We had many successes.

When I first showed up, though, all the lights were off and I thought I might have missed a memo about class being cancelled.

I snooped around and found one of the ladies puttering around, without the lights on. So we chatted, as it turned out I was just a bit early but she was super early.

The first thing my teacher said to me was, "We're going do some ... something something something something on your painting because something something and this will be dark but these things here will be something something something and that will be better, ok?"

And I said, "What do you mean?" Blink blink.


Because I think she thinks I am smarter than I actually am.

So she explained in Terri language: she bought me new paintbrushes so I have to slow down a bit and be a little more careful with the lines. We will also start adding in new colours. In addition, the brown may be too dark but we will layer colours so it will be ok.

Fair enough, grasshopper. I'm on it.

So I flipped my little tree upside down and started painting the upper branches.

The top branches reminded me of moose antlers before, and now I also see little dancing men in there, when it is upside down. So now, when I look at the painting, that's what I see: moose antlers and dancing men.

Told ya I grew up in the woods. Most girls would probably see fairies and butterflies. Not me... pure Newfoundlander: moose and men.


My mom would be so proud of her girl.

the Newfoundland girl's tree

It's kind of funny I am naming my painting 'the Newfoundland girl's tree' (thus far) since Jeannette originally said this kind of tree reminded her of NL, and Steph and I burst out laughing, saying this was not the kind of tree we would use to describe NL.

And it isn't, if you are looking at the whole thing. But if you look at just a couple of twigs, like the one dead centre at the top, it looks like a man walking. And if you flip it upside down, he looks like he is dancing. And if you don't see antlers in here anywhere, I don't know what to say about that.

Those things remind me of home. My uncles used to go moose hunting, maybe that's why. I don't know. But that tree now reminds me of home and that was totally, completely unintentional.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Steph was celebrating her own success. It was almost enough to break out a bottle of wine!

She graduated from one letter to another letter! WOOhoo!

graduation #1: one letter to another letter

She has inked the background and foiled the letter in two colours.

However, if Steph gets something in her head, she wants to make all her ideas happen NOW.

So she got the idea to colour her borders without deciding her other colours.

Discussion time. Out came the letters, the colours and the heavy brain waves.

We started talking out all her choices again, discussing colours for the flowers and the borders. She was going to start the borders immediately, but after some heavy thought- and sweat-intensive discussion, she decided to go with her original plan of finishing the inking and foiling first.

Then, she will choose flower and border colours and then move on to actual colouring.

I'm telling you, my heart is getting wrapped up in this project, too. I'm starting to feel concerned about the placement of everything.

They are going to be beautiful. I might sign them all, secretly. She can sign my painting, too, in recognition of all the positive comments she makes. I am the 'thought-processor' on her project, that's why I get to make a mark on hers.

When I am standing there painting, it feel like we are all real artists. I have spray paint or spray gold or something floating around me and into my lungs, there is paint all over me (when it should be on my canvas), there are various artistic instruments everywhere, and all kinds of tiny brushes are on my table at my disposal as if I am capable of making noticeably different lines and stuff with them.

And then, Steph is behind me, coughing up her lungs because she is bent over her work station, breathing in some weird smelling glue that she is using to stick the foil to the paper. Then she breathes in all the foil bits that come off her work when she brushes away the excess.

That, of course, is after she inks the whole thing with smelly India Ink.

She needs a face mask or something. She is going to mess up her work if she gets a coughing fit.

Then we will have to start all over.

Holy Lord above, her project is more stressful than mine and I'm not even working on hers.

Jeannette told me during her "something something something" conversation that we might have to do ten coats of paint to make sure the tree was layered properly and that sounded ok to me. My canvas might not be strong enough to hold up all that paint, but whatever, I'll tack it on to some wood.

I thought, 'No problem, I'll just keep painting until it looks right. Eventually, the paint will round out like a tree really is, I'm sure. I have a great teacher. It'll all be ok. No sweat.'

With Steph's, I think 'Holy love of God! You have 3 letters left! You better get cracking! We have colours to choose! How many colours are you gonna need? Do you know what your colour themes is - wait - don't think about that yet - keep inking and foiling! How much longer is the ink gonna take? What about this foil - I'm stressed out because it's so flimsy! Is this what the dentist uses on teeth!? Do you need some help? We gotta concentrate! No more talking! You need a face mask! You need gloves! We need more light! Your wedding is only 14 months away! We gotta come in on the weekends! What kind of frames are you gonna use? Mad panic!'

And Steph giggles.... like a lunatic.

And I look at my tree with the antlers and dancers.

I love Monday night - we say it's what gets us through the day!


  1. Hi Terry this is Steph's Dad & all I have to say is I feel your pain...good luck & keep on blogging..I can't wait for next Monday!!!
    PS Gotta love a man who can dance..even if it's in a tree!

  2. ahaha! Hi Steph's dad! I'm so glad you are reading! I definitely love a man who can dance - keep an eye out for me, willya?!


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